Living Next Door to Alice
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“Who the fuck is Alice?”
“Who the fuck are you?”
Living Next Door to Alice is a song originally performed by New Word, made popular by Smokie, and perfected by Roy Chubby Brown. It was released on a pair of 12" vinyl trousers, along with the b-side; Living Across the Street from the Post Office.
Written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman in 1959, then forgotton again until 1975 when it came back to them via a collective dream. They first came up with the idea when their manager locked them in a room and refused to let them out until they'd written a top-selling album.
For a while it was known by the working title Living Next Door to Mrs. Craven and Her Many Cats, before they decided to change the focus of the song to Chinn's other neighbour on the opposite side, which happened to be Alice.
The original lyrics also stated that the singer had been living next door to Alice for twenty thousand years. However, this was changed when a friend of the band pointed out that this was an absurd amount of time.
In the 1960s, 'living next door to Alice' was common slang for being incarcerated. This arose from the fact that prison walls of the era were built from a cheap metal called alicanium, dubbed 'Alice' by the inmates. The songwriters insist they weren't aware of this, and it was just about a real neighbour that Nicky Chinn had.
The Real Alice
When speaking about his old old neighbour, Chinn said:
|She was wonderful. Truly wonderful. She made the sun shine brighter... not literally of course, she wasn't a wizard or anything. Although that would have been awesome.|
In the 1990s a BBC documentary spearheaded by Super Mario managed to track down the real Alice. They discovered her under the table in an Israeli McDonald's Restaurant. She was found to be quite fond of the song.
There have been hundreds of covers of Living Next Door to Alice, but Roy Chubby Brown released what is considered the definitive version. He completely rehauled the song. His fresh new lyrics posed a question that has baffled philosophers and canines for generations - namely - who the fuck is Alice?
Lauded as a masterpiece upon release, Chubby's version has been compared to Fisher Price for its intelligent and provocative ponderings on the nature of reality and identity.
Unknown Artist also did a version on their popular record; Unknown Album.